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Author Topic: 'Topless' nuns!?  (Read 3382 times) Average Rating: 0
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The young fogey
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« on: December 06, 2002, 02:24:47 PM »

Bet that title got your attention.

The good folks at New Skete

Whoa.

There are some Episcopal orders (all of them are teeny-tiny) with nuns that look like this.

Guess it all depends on context. They aren't trying to be women priests. The klobuk is a matter of culture, etc. Heretical? No. But bad precedent because it looks like modernized Roman Catholic nuns? Sure.
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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2002, 02:39:59 PM »

It caught my attention.  Where is New Skete?  I don't like this one bit, I think that an Orthodox nun should like an Orthodox nun and not like this.  The nuns look like members of a church choir at a Protestant church.
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2002, 02:44:40 PM »

New Skete is in upstate New York - Cambridge. They started off about 30 years ago as Byzantine Catholic Franciscans, then when they split from the main Franciscan house to form NS they ended up under the RC bishop of Albany even though they were Byzantine Rite. (Politics.) They were received into the OCA in 1980, I believe. Obviously an experimental group with Orthodox monastic practices and in liturgics. They have published several versions of the services, some of which I understand are very different from the usual Byzantine Rite.

I don't know if they are heretical and don't think so AFAIK but it's possible they make mistakes.
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2002, 02:49:01 PM »

I am no fan of the New Skete, and especially not of these topless nuns of theirs. YUCK!  :-";"thumbdown
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2002, 02:57:31 PM »

Heretical ? No.  Controversial?  Often.

There are a lot of folks in the OCA that are not comfortable with their monastic 'style' and their typicon which is unique unto themselves.  

I'm suprised they have stayed in the OCA for as long as they have.  

I have faith that His Beatitude's visit was just one of many.

Metropolitan Herman has been making the rounds and visiting the Seminaries and other OCA institutions.

Remember that he is very traditional and that St. Tikhon's and New Skete are stavrophigial - under the omophorion of the Metropolitan.

When I saw the pix from His Beatitude's visit to New Skete this morning, on the OCA's website.  I had the same reaction as Serge.  But like I said, I have faith in the Metropolitan.

Eis polla eti despota!!

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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2002, 03:50:10 PM »

As I say on the Orthodoxy page of my site, I like their chapel - a perfectly good variant of liturgical-movement principles.
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2002, 04:12:05 PM »

The fact that New Skete has its own typikon is perfectly Orthodox since before the 14th century every monastery had its own typikon.

New Skete's "reforms" work well in their own monastery, but efforts to transport their work to parishes has generally not succeeded.  Nothing to worry about. The Byzantine Rite is organic, and if New Skete's reforms met the need of American Orthodox, it would catch on, which hasn't happened, so there's really nothing to worry about.  I like that New Skete has a community of married people living in the monastic life in every way other than being married.  A good option for couples in their later years or couples who cannot have children and wish to live a monastic-style devotion.

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« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2002, 04:23:07 PM »

Friends,

Please remember New Skete is made up of three communities, Monks, Nuns, and Companions.   Most of the Companions are married couples and therefore would not wear klobuks.  Please also remember only fully professed monks or nuns (stavrophore, microschema) may wear the klobuk.  Perhaps they are all rasophores.  If that is the case it is quite right they are not wearing klobuks.  

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Lance
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« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2002, 04:34:08 PM »

Serge,

The founders of New Skete were under the Bishop of Albany because they were canonically Latin Catholics.  This group was made up of who Latin Catholic Franciscans who decided to adopt the Byzantine Tradition.  They were related to the New Canaan Friary but were not "native' Byzantine Franciscans.  After they adopted the Byzantine tradition they sought to come under the Bishop of Passaic but he didn't want them (probably becasue they were, ironically, not Latinized) so they remianed under the Bishop of Albany until they felt compelled to join the OCA.

In Christ,
Lance
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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2002, 12:51:39 AM »

Serge,

The founders of New Skete were under the Bishop of Albany because they were canonically Latin Catholics.  This group was made up of who Latin Catholic Franciscans who decided to adopt the Byzantine Tradition.  They were related to the New Canaan Friary but were not "native' Byzantine Franciscans.  After they adopted the Byzantine tradition they sought to come under the Bishop of Passaic but he didn't want them (probably becasue they were, ironically, not Latinized) so they remianed under the Bishop of Albany until they felt compelled to join the OCA.

In Christ,
Lance

Before coming under the jurisdiction of the Latin Rite RC Bishop of Albany, Lance, the New Skete Monks and Nuns seem to have had, at the very least, a special liturgical/ritual relationship with the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Bishop of Stamford, CT, Basil Losten, a relationship which continued until their formal reception into Orthodoxy via the OCA.  Whenever it was felt that a monk needed to be ordained to the diaconate or priesthood to serve the community, it was Bishop Losten who traveled to New Skete to officiate.  I have photos of such ordinations in old copies of New Skete's publication, "Gleanings."

As far as the lack of head coverings on the New Skete Nuns in the photos, *some* of the nuns occasionally wear a skufya with their riassas when entering the church, but remove them during Services.  However, for the most part, New Skete nuns wear their riassas (and skufyas) *only* when in their own church or at a function while visiting another Orthodox church or seminary.  Outside of church on their monastic property or at off-property worksites, the Nuns normally wear secular clothing, with a penchant for out-of-style pantsuits in pastel colors.

Btw, the same thing goes for the New Skete Monks: They  usually wear their riassas (with or without skufya--I have never seen a New Skete monastic wearing a klobuk) only within church.  Outside of church their dress is indistinguishable from lay dress, except when visiting a parish, another Orthodox monastery or a seminary.

I have visited New Skete less and less frequently over the years.  Each time I have visited in more recent times, I leave feeling more empty than when leaving at my next most recent prior visit.  I have this sinking feeling that New Skete, if it ever really had it to begin with, is losing whatever Orthodoxy it has left.  I pray that His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman's visit was not too late to stop further erosion of whatever they still maintain of the Orthodox Faith, which some of the monks blatantly say is the same Catholic Faith espoused by the Church of Rome, that the two Churches, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox, are one and the same Church, only "temporarily DIVIDED!"

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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2002, 03:03:18 AM »

I think Blessed Mother Marie also raised the eyebrows of those who judge on appearence as well.
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« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2002, 08:52:42 AM »

My understanding is Mother Maria Skobtsova (to whom I think you are referring) wore some kind of a habit, though perhaps not the all-black one associated with Orthodox nuns.
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